As far as Night Tracks goes, we consider Solitude a pretty big name. He's amassed thousands of loyal followers with his mixes that showcase the latest and greatest dark, bass heavy tunes, put together by a man who clearly puts a lot of effort into digging for the perfect tunes, and as part of Solace Records has released a slew of top-notch releases, we considered ourselves pretty lucky recently.
After Budeaux put together a guest mix for the Solace Records podcast series, he offered to return the favour with something we'd really wanted for ages; A Night Tracks guest mix from Solitude. This really is a sublime mix, not just track after track, but a series with a well worked flow, obviously one that a lot of thought has gone into (and the three-way Burial vs Lana Del Rey mix is as amazing as it sounds).
Check it out. We also got in touch with Solitude for a few words.
NT: Hey man. First off, can you give us an introduction...
S: Hello, I'm a DJ from South East London... Been playing under the name Solitude since around 2003.
NT: Correct me if I'm wrong, but contrary to the traditional ways of building a reputation, playing sets locally, badgering promoters, etc. you built up a following from your "Ambient Dubstep" mixes on the net. Now that you're playing more sets live, would you say it's made things harder or better for you to get noticed by promoters? Can you see more DJs following your method of success?
S: My intentions were never really to start playing out or to even share the mixes with anyone, the whole 'Ambient Dubstep' thing started out from me not having anything decent to listen to while in the bath one day. I was inspired by a set I'd heard from Canadian producer Graham March 'Desimal' who sadly passed away in 2006. He put out a mix titled 'Ambient Dub' back in 2003, it sent me on a mission to find some deeper moody tunes. I eventually come across Burial's first album at a friend's record shop and was hooked. I was always into the darker side of Garage, so hearing that was pretty big for me.
After a couple of years messing around putting mixes together I uploaded Vol.1, people seemed to enjoy it and were asking me for another, so I just carried on. I really enjoy putting sets together, it's something I've been doing since I was 12 years old.
It's quite rare for new promoters to hit me up, over the last few years I've become friends with a few crews around Europe who I trust and know are booking me because they enjoy the shit I play. I'm sure there are much better ways to approach the scene if you want to play out and be successful.
NT: That's not too dissimilar to how Night Tracks came about. The name came from what I scrawled on a mix CD of darker garage tunes I made for my car...
"I eventually come across Burial's first album... ...hearing that was pretty big for me."
NT: Following on from that, where can we catch you playing in the near future?
S: Off to Belgium on the 29th of March, playing alongside Wayfarer and local DJ/producers who are releasing some nice tunes. Also have a gig in Malta coming up, and a possible tour over in Australia & New Zealand with Clubroot at the end of the year.
NT: Obviously you have a good eye for a tune, but why do you think so many people are fans of your mixes? You seem to have a core of producers that are happy to share their tunes with you...
S: I have no idea why, never understood the response! There's a few producers sending me bits now and then, which is cool. I've never felt the need to have mixes full of dubs... I just play what I'm feeling at the time. Most of my track lists rarely feature loads of unreleased stuff.
NT: Yep, I think there is a strong focus on putting out unheard stuff, which at times can be detrimental. I like to use a lot of older stuff that people might not have heard...
NT: And finally, if you had to pick your three favourite "Night Tracks", what would they be?
S: Pariah - OrpheusMassive Attack Vs Burial - Paradise Circus
DJ Rum - The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn (Undercoat Pt.2)
NT: Thanks for your time, and thanks again for amazing mix, we're very grateful...